In addtion to their ever-expanding tech capabilities, digital signs can provide visual excitement to otherwise plain-looking interior spaces.
See digital signs in action and there’s no question they add visual flair and high-tech cool to restaurant settings. They’ve proven their merit in the QSR segment, but could they do the same in full-service or fast casual? A new guidebook—available as a free download, no registration required, no strings attached—can help interested operators answer that question.
As is true in many high-tech fields, new developments come fast and furious in the digital signage industry. So do the opportunities for restaurant owners to deploy them in ways that smooth over operational sore spots and encourage customers to spend more money. Digital menu boards, it turns out, are the most simplistic use of this technology.
There is much to keep up with in this rapidly evolving field, but ace digital signage consultant Lyle Bunn is making it easy. His newly published guidebook, “Dynamic Signage in Food Service,” gives operators a comprehensive look at the issues and opportunities that surround digital signage installations.
Bunn speaks the restaurant operator’s language when he positions digital signage this way: “Where other communications devices serve to generate traffic, brand awareness and loyalty, on-location signage must achieve revenue activation while motivating future visits.” Upselling and developing repeat customers—that’s exactly what operators want.
Bunn quotes fellow digital signage expert Mitch Joel on the key paybacks. “Dynamic on-location media is a transition from passive marketing to more successful active marketing.... Digital and the enabling analytics are a ‘bolt-on’ utility that can typically be added easily to existing infrastructure and available space, and can deliver immediate results and insights,” Joel argues. “It is a high payback medium.”
So is it a high-cost medium, too? If you were hoping digital signage is like other tech fields where prices drop steeply over time, it is—but that only gets you part of what you want.
“While technology prices have been declining and performance increasing (i.e., the declining price/performance equation), operating costs, which are human resource intensive, have been increasing for design, network installation, hot line support, repair, training and content and playlist administration,” Bunn notes. “These trends are expected to continue.”
But there can be allied benefits. For example, if you retrofit your restaurant with a digital signage system, your dining room suddenly has a more contemporary look.
“Dynamic signage offers a modernized and upgraded feel to a food service location. The preponderance of dynamic displays causes patrons (many of whom use flat panel TV at home) to somewhat expect to see their use in locations they visit,” Bunn writes. “The beneficial effects of this may allow the location proprietor to defer or avoid upgrade or refreshment of their facilities.”
We’re only scratching the surface of what Bunn has to offer. There are many, many costs and benefits to consider when you think about installing digital signage in your restaurant. We’re not suggesting you let Bunn’s free download tell you what to think about digital signage. But it looks like it could be very valuable in telling you what areas to consider.